Giant Air is Timbuktu’s (a fictitious country) latest entry into an industry severely affected by COVID-19. On the morning of December 4, 2020, Flight 095 departed from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York to Pudong International Airport in Shanghai. Little did the passengers know that they are about to experience a hellish weekend of travel
Hours after taking off from JFK around 9 p.m. EST Saturday, United Flight 095 was diverted to Goose Bay Airport in Canada due to a medical emergency. Goose Bay is the largest center in the northeastern province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The temperature around that time is usually minus seven to minus fifteen degrees. But due to the unusual weather and perhaps climate change, the temperature was minus twelve to minus twenty that day.
The medical personnel met the aircraft at the gate, and the distressed passenger was taken to a hospital. As crew members prepared to depart, they noticed a mechanical failure with one of the passenger’s doors. It failed to close properly.
Because the plan departed from the United States, most of the passengers did not have the proper documentations to land in Canada. As a result, passengers were not allowed to leave the aircraft. Goose Bay is a small community and Canadian Customs was closed. They were not expecting any flights on the weekend. Giant Air decided to send another plane to Goose Bay to bring the customers back to New York, but another plane was not available until twelve hours later.
The temperature outside the aircraft dropped to minus twenty overnight on Friday and is not expected to be much better on the weekend. The food supplies were limited for the three hundred and fifty passengers and fifteen crew members aboard the giant Boeing 787 plane. Afterall, they were only expecting an fifteen-hour flight non-stop.
Dennis Rodman, the ex-professional National Basketball Association (NBA) player was abroad the plan. He tweeted, “Please help us. This is an emergency @giant. Passengers are stranded on the tarmac and food and drinks are running low. The situation is not good”
Rodman’s tweet came sis hours after the plan landed in Goose Bay. The cabin crew has been serving cookies snacks and drinks they could find on board. Meanwhile, an emergency mechanical crew was arrived three hours after the plane landed. Several attempts were made to fix the door. One of the parts had to be replaced but they did not have the part to do the job.
A plane finally arrived at 9:00 p.m. Saturday, some twenty-fours after Flight 095 took off from JFK. They passengers were flown back to JFK. They did not arrive until 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 6, 2020.
The passengers were obviously very upset. One passenger’s response to an interview summed it all, “The entire way they were trying to troubleshoot and fix the problem. The flight crew (and probably the airline) were not only unprofessional, but downright DISGUSTING,” passenger Charlie Brown wrote in a Facebook post about noon Sunday. “This is not an airline. It’s more like a prison.”
The airline issued a statement two days later, “We apologized to our customers for this experience. Our crew and operations did everything possible for our passengers throughout the ordeal. Everyone involved is commended for a job well done.”
You are the CEO of Giant Air. You were in Vancouver for a very important meeting on Monday. It was 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning when you received the call from your Vice-President of Operations. You just learned about servant leadership and you are eager to that into practice.
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